Twitch Apologises After Ad Row With Streamers

Twitch, the popular livestreaming platform owned by Amazon, has issued an apology following a wave of criticism over its new advertising rules.

The company had initially announced restrictions on the size and type of ads that streamers could use, potentially reducing their income-generating opportunities on the platform. In response to the uproar from prominent creators, Twitch has pledged to rewrite the policy to address concerns and prevent a potential boycott.

The controversy erupted when Twitch revealed a branded-content policy update that was deemed too broad by the streaming community.

This led to confusion and frustration among streamers who rely on sponsorships and direct relationships with brands to earn revenue. The platform acknowledged its misstep, expressing regret for the confusion caused and stating that it never intended to curtail streamers’ ability to engage with sponsors.

However, despite Twitch’s commitment to revising the policy, some creators have already decided to sever ties with the platform. One such creator is Stallion, a UK streamer with 61,000 followers, who spoke to the BBC and disclosed plans to depart from Twitch. Stallion cited a lack of discoverability on the platform as a significant factor contributing to the decision.

According to Stallion, Twitch favours established creators, making it difficult for newcomers to gain visibility. He also criticised Twitch’s apparent focus on monetary gain at the expense of content creators.

The revised rules had implications beyond individual streamers. Charity events like Games Done Quick, which raised $2.2 million for Doctors Without Borders in June, expressed concerns about the restrictions on logos that play a crucial role in their fundraising efforts. The size limitations imposed by the new policy posed a potential hindrance to their activities.

The details of the forthcoming policy changes are yet to be clarified. However, the damage inflicted by the initial update has already left some streamers disillusioned. Stallion expressed frustration at the lack of consideration for creators who depend on the platform for their livelihood. Despite apprehension stemming from the potential impact on his full-time career, Stallion believes that leaving Twitch will ultimately be the best decision in the long run.

Twitch’s revenue-sharing model has also come under scrutiny, with comparisons to YouTube. While Twitch typically pays streamers 50% of the revenue from subscribers (with the percentage rising to 70% for top streamers), the platform does not share in the revenue generated from ads or donations. In contrast, YouTube retains a 30% cut of donations from fans but provides YouTubers with 70% of subscription revenue.

Twitch’s swift apology and commitment to revising the controversial policy demonstrate the company’s awareness of the impact it has on streamers and the importance of maintaining their trust. As the platform moves forward, it will need to strike a delicate balance between monetisation strategies and supporting the diverse ecosystem of content creators that has contributed to its success.

Source: BBC